The Science of Perfume

So, if you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, or even if you’re new (welcome, by the way), you’re about to learn that with me often the science half of my brain likes to take over. It’s not something that I choose, it just happens. Whether it comes in to help aid me in researching companies and products such as Arbonne – I’m still on the fence about it – to the smaller things such as the potential damage of chemicals in every day products, often I find that the part of me that is used to sitting in a lab for several hours attempting to determine the sex of domestic chickens per week likes to invade my hobby. Not that this is entirely a bad thing. Today, I present the science of perfume, but don’t worry I’ll keep it relevant. This is something I have been working on for a while, and perhaps it might just help you out if you’re looking to score a bargain at the boxing day sales in the perfume department.

  1. Most perfumes consist of three levels of scent, the first being the top notes which you’ll smell within the first 15 minutes of applying, the heart or middle notes are next which you’ll notice after three to four hours and lastly is the base notes which you’ll notice after five to eight hours of wear. So if you try something on, let it develop for a few hours!
  2. Perfumes evaporate on the skin, this is why each of the notes appears as you wear them, knowing this try not to rub your wrists together roughly as this will cause the scent to develop more quickly hence losing some of the top notes that you might enjoy.
  3. Chemical reactions can change the way your perfume smells, knowing this do not store them in the sun, try to keep them out of direct sunlight to give them the best possible chance of remaining their beautifully scented selves for as long as possible.
  4. A perfume will smell different on each individual person, so don’t always assume that your friend’s perfume is going to smell amazing on you. Each perfume will interact with natural oils and pheromones present in the skin and create a slightly different fragrance.
  5. You have a genetically determined number of odor receptors. What does this mean? Each person will have a different sensitivity to any particular fragrance, so just remember just because someone else doesn’t like it, doesn’t mean that you won’t. It’s good to give different scents a chance, and don’t overwhelm your nose! Often perfume stores will provide coffee beans, take a quick sniff of these between scents to cleanse the palette so to speak, this will allow you to fully take in each individual fragrance.

Bearing all that in mind, what scents am I loving at the moment? Each of these is different from the next and I like each of them for entirely different reasons which I’m not going to get into now seeing as I feel I’m totally thrown a bunch of science out onto the blog and hoped for the best, but my top summer fragrances include: Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Paris (available here), DKNY Be Delicious Sparkling Apple, Victoria’s Secret Angel (available here for American residents) and Sarah Jessica Parker NYC (available here). I like to apply a little to my wrists, behind my ears and along my jawline, mostly because I feel these are all spots which don’t give and overwhelming waft of scent with each movement. It’s subtle and I like that. The big thing to remember is not to apply it on your clothing, it can (and has for me) caused discolouration in the past, that and all perfumes have a lifespan. Use them before your lose them.

I hope this gives you a few tricks and ideas for the next time you’re out perfume shopping, I’m really keen to get my hands on a few of the celebrity designed and promoted brands I’ve seen this year, but we’ll see what’s in my Christmas stocking this year before I go shopping! I’d love to hear any other tricks or tips you’ve got for your perfumes so feel free to share them down below!

x ac


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